It’s official: The New York City Board of Health has voted to ban artery-clogging artificial trans fats at restaurants.

Restaurants will be barred from using most frying oils containing artificial trans fats by next July, and artificial trans fats must be eliminated from all foods by July 2008.

“Trans-fatty acids are not just from the cook and his poor choices,” note David and Stephanie Tippie, directors of the Anti-Aging Clinic Association, Inc., in Florida. “Trans-fatty acids make unhealthy cell walls in the body because we are lacking in omega-3s. Food manufacturers in this country routinely remove the long-chain fatty acids—omega-3s—by way of processing food to give it a longer shelf life. This is the beginning of our troubles because it sets up weakened cell wall syndrome. Trans-fatty acids combine with excess sugar in our body from poor diet and create triglycerides, which create plaque, and that leads to atherosclerosis and heart attack.”

Some restaurant owners made the switch long ago.

“For years, I have been aware that trans fat is worse than cholesterol, and so I began searching for alternatives in cooking oils,” says Roger Berkowitz, owner of Legal Sea Foods. “I saw this as an opportunity for us to supply a healthier dining experience.”

Two years ago, he required all 30 of his East Coast restaurants, including those in New York, to conform to his “no trans fats” rule.

When shopping for conventional and organic food, be sure to read product labels to identify trans-fat content.

Suggested Reading

Fat Tips for Heart Health
Lifestyle and Stroke Risk
A Healthy Diet for Men
The War on Trans Fats (Part 1)
The War on Trans Fats (Part 2)